GERMANY: Bosch blocks Blaupunkt plant closure
Robert Bosch has prevented German investment company Aurelius from closing a plant owned by former Bosch subsidiary Blaupunkt in Tunis.
A Bosch spokesman told Financial Times Deutschland that, should Aurelius contest the decision, it would have to pay a EUR10m penalty.
In March 2009 Bosch sold car audio maker Blaupunkt to Aurelius, which specialises in restructuring troubled firms, for a 'negative' price of EUR 100m. To seal the deal, Bosch immediately transferred EUR80m to Aurelius and the latter agreed to assume responsibility for Blaupunkt's customers. Bosch also insisted that production in Tunis continued because the plant supplied major auto companies.
Aurelius last April signed a sale contract with the Indo-Swiss consulting group Longhouse for Blaupunkt's businesses, including the plants in Tunis and Malaysia. Following Bosch's threat to obtain an injunction, Aurelius agreed not to complete the sale to Longhouse until the end of the year and also agreed to continue audio equipment production in Tunis until then.